Ever been curious how certain women just have a presence about them? Powerful, confident, self assured. Like Wonder Woman or Michelle Obama or Beyonce. What if it was science? What if there was something as simple as practicing a power pose before you did a presentation, or a job interview or walked into that first day of class that gave you that extra bit of confidence. It’s real, it’s science. It’s Power Posing.
In her TED Talk, which has received over 36 million views (you read that right), Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy describes how body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Cuddy shows how power posing — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.
Power Posing is any expansive, high power posture and stance. The most popular power pose is known as the “Wonder Woman.” Whether in the bathroom, or outside, or even before you leave your house, put your hands on your hips, spread your legs shoulder-width apart, and look towards the sky just like Wonder Woman before you rock that interview or presentation.
According to Business Insider Cuddy has extensively researched the beneficial effects that a simple pose can reap. She, along with multiple fellow psychologists, conducted experiments about the effects of power posing in real life interview situations. They measured the participants’ sense of confidence and power, and even took samples of their saliva to measure certain hormones linked to dominance as well as stress. Gross, yet fascinating. Who knew striking a simple pose leads to a better performance and high confidence levels? It’s science!
For me, power posing gets me pumped up and makes me feel good. It reminds me I am a strong, capable woman who deserves the job as much as anybody else, or the confidence to nail a presentation, or whatever the case may be. To me, power posing follows the same line of psychology as “look good, feel good.” This isn’t about arrogance or being aggressive, instead it’s feeling on top of my game. I also don’t just randomly power pose without the skills to back it up. It’s important to work hard and be prepared for whatever challenge comes your way. Always strive to put your best foot forward. Power posing is another way to affirm that preparation has been done and shake any of those jitters and nerves.
While most research with power posing has been done in business situations, it absolutely applies to other areas of our lives, too. Power posing before tests, school presentations, or even dates would probably make you feel more confident and excited. Do it when and where you need it! While simply striking a pose is a small thing, It may make you feel silly, it may make you feel like Beyonce, who knows, but it’s got science behind it so it’s worth a shot.
Cover image via Telegraph.